The Importance of Testing

The first lot of eucalyptus blue met Gary’s standard. The other lot was extremely lacking in eucalyptol and was therefore rejected.

The first lot of eucalyptus blue met Gary’s standard. The other lot was extremely lacking in eucalyptol and was therefore rejected.

Here are some examples of essential oils and common adulterating agents: peppermint (cornmint, ethyl vanillin), rose (palmarosa, citronella, synthetic fractions), sandalwood (amyris, araucaria, diluted with glyceryl acetate, benzyl benzoate), ylang ylang (Peru balsam), clary sage (synthetic linalyl acetate, linaool), and geranium (palmarosa, citronella, synthetic compounds). All of these agents can be found during testing—IF your company does testing!

This is from a letter that was sent to me.  “Dear Sir, I’m a French exporter who exports products from Provence to North America. I select very typical products which quality is unquestionable. I’d like to know if you would be interested in Provencal products like lavender essential oil made in France–50 percent lavender, 50 percent lavandin, 100 percent pure.” Pure lavender oil that is 50 percent lavandin? That’s not my idea of pure!

I get these letters all the time. Synthetic or adulterated oils. Mislabeled. Diluted. Adulteration can occur at any point in any production process.

I will show you two lots of eucalyptus blue, one accepted and one rejected. Why was the one rejected? Because the compounds did not meet my standard.

Worldwide Essential Oil Expertise! Part II

Gary is checking the fragrant flowers on ylang ylang trees grown on the Young Living farm in Ecuador, which will be distilled immediately after being picked.

Gary is checking the fragrant flowers on ylang ylang trees grown on the Young Living farm in Ecuador, which will be distilled immediately after being picked.

Next, you must factor in the elevation. Washington is north of the 45th parallel at an elevation of 1,500 to 2,500 feet. Distilling time for peppermint there is early August. Below the 45th parallel, at 4,800 to 5,000 feet, where we grow peppermint, the best distilling time is the end of August to September to get higher levels of menthone. 

In hot, high-humid climates in South America, we shade dry and mature most plants before distilling.

·        Ruta: five days after cutting

·         Oregano: five days after cutting

·         Lemongrass: three days after cutting

·         Vetiver: seven to ten days after cutting, depending on the humidity and the barometric pressure

·         Eucalyptus: three to five days after picking

·         Ocotea: ten days after picking

·         Palo Santo: five years after the tree is dead

·         Ylang ylang: immediately after picking

·          Dorado Azul: immediately after cutting 

So I watch my weather station and my weather reports to know the right time for distilling.

Then we follow it with a Brix test, so I can build volume.

I’m going to write a book on how to grow, how to harvest, and how to distill. It will be the most complete book ever published on the distillation of essential oils. 

Worldwide Essential Oil Expertise!

One of Young Living’s beautiful peppermint fields on a summer day at the Mona, Utah, farm.

One of Young Living’s beautiful peppermint fields on a summer day at the Mona, Utah, farm.

What is the condition of the soil? Can you grow lavender in soil that’s 5.5 pH? Can you transplant frereana frankincense and grow it in Oman? Can you grow ylang ylang in Idaho? The answers are, “yes.” You can grow just about anything anywhere. However, it doesn’t mean that the plant is going to produce an essential oil or a therapeutic-grade essential oil. 

Another factor I discovered that is really interesting science is that there is a big difference in the plants and oil production on longitude north and south, 80 degrees west compared to longitude north and south, 45 degrees east. This science is becoming very fascinating. Latitude east and west, 15 degrees south is different from latitude east and west, zero degrees, which is Ecuador—the equator. Tropic of Cancer, north of the 45th parallel versus Tropic of Cancer, south of the 45th parallel. These all create differences in the plants and oil production.

So where does the 45th parallel run? Just north of the Utah border about a hundred miles. Every peppermint grower who grows north of the 45th parallel has to harvest at a different time, and they’re also at a different elevation if they want to produce menthol. Below the 45th parallel, at a higher elevation, you cut the plant and distill at a different time to get a higher menthol level. I was the first in the world to discover this. Why? Because of distilling every day for weeks at a time to identify when the oil is the best.

We’re not just doing a little research about a few things; I’m researching every faction of your oil to find where the best is produced—and I will not quit. This factor was not taken into the equation until I started distilling in ten different states and countries: Washington, Idaho, Utah, France, Ecuador, Peru, Oman, Egypt, Taiwan, and Israel—all places where I have actually conducted distillation myself. I’ve distilled in more countries than probably any 100 people combined in the world today. North of the Tropic of Cancer, north of the 45th parallel is Washington; Idaho is south of the 45th parallel; Utah is south. It changes the chemistry of the plant. Why? Part of it is because of elevation variation, but part of it is because of the angle of the UV rays. Doesn’t that make sense? 

Requests for a GC-MS Analysis

The GC’s program analyzes constituent peaks and then calculates the area under each peak, thus giving an area percent. This is a comparison of peak areas between two different lots of helichrysum from two different vendors. One of them YL accepted for use; the other was rejected.

The GC’s program analyzes constituent peaks and then calculates the area under each peak, thus giving an area percent. This is a comparison of peak areas between two different lots of helichrysum from two different vendors. One of them YL accepted for use; the other was rejected.

GC’s. The other day a lady posted me on my Facebook and said, ”Well, this other company sends out their GC’s, how come Young Living doesn’t?”

I posted her back and said, ”Would you know how to read it if I did?”

Anybody can create anything they want with a GC. What if they spike their oil with a small amount of a strong synthetic chemical and then use only a single 30-meter-column GC? The chemical won’t show up!

So just having a GC printout is meaningless unless you’re an analytical chemist and know how to read it. So why would I waste all the paper just sending them out when no one would even have a clue how to read them? Is there anybody reading this who can look at a GC report and tell me what they’re looking at? I rest my case.

Here is a stark comparison that lists the constituents of two batches of Helichrysum essential oil that were for sale. One was accepted; the other, rejected. Do you know what was interesting? After I rejected the one in red, another company bought it and said it was pure. 

Harvesting in Idaho’s Mountains and at the Ecuador Farm

Young Living members experience the Seed to Seal® process during the  harvest and distillation of oils such as Idaho Balsam Fir and Idaho Blue Spruce at the 2014 Winter Harvest in St. Maries, Idaho.

Young Living members experience the Seed to Seal® process during the harvest and distillation of oils such as Idaho Balsam Fir and Idaho Blue Spruce at the 2014 Winter Harvest in St. Maries, Idaho.

Here are some of the people who made this year’s distillation of our beautiful Idaho Blue Spruce essential oil possible. We did it in an entire month of distilling and pulling samples every 15 minutes and analyzing them until we knew where we needed to be. Every 15 minutes. That’s why I built the lab in St. Maries, because we’re going to continue growing there. I need to analyze the oil and in an hour and a half have the results so that I know what I need to do. The year before last, I didn’t have a lab in St. Maries, so I had to send the oils FedEx to Utah and wait to get the results back to determine when we should distill next. There is so much to this that people don’t know and understand. What is the proper cutting time? What’s the drying time? Maturing time?

Gary is standing next to the plant Dorado Azul that he discovered and tested. It is now growing on the Young Living farm in Ecuador.

Gary is standing next to dorado azul that he discovered and tested. It is now growing on the Young Living farm in Ecuador.

Here’s dorado azul that I investigated back in 2008 as I started really looking at its chemistry and what values it has. When I looked at the compounds, I knew I wanted this plant. I learned the differences between when it’s distilled dry and when it’s distilled green. Just a one-week difference in the harvesting and distillation, and you will see variances in the compounds there.  

So does it make a difference when you cut? Absolutely. How do I know? Because I do it. I don’t just talk about it, I do it. 

Then there is Mastrante. A new oil that you’re going to have one day soon. Beautiful! Oh, my goodness. I’ve been developing this plant for four years. Our field is growing and expanding, and we’re almost there. Again, we study the different distillation times and the different drying times to see when the right time is because Mastrante had never been distilled until I distilled it. We have to learn.